How to Create an Atmosphere in Your Home

If you’ve ever wandered around a furniture store, longing to sink into the nearest comfy sofa, you’ll know what we mean by atmosphere. It’s something interior designers have been nailing for years – that certain something that makes a room feel a certain way.

There are so many ways you can create the vibe you want in your home. Here are just a few ideas.

Consider the colour

Okay, so this is an obvious suggestion to start off with, but it’s an important one. For example, if you want to create a relaxing ambiance, vibrant red or yellow won’t do the job; but if you’re looking for a fun, invigorating space, then they’re great colours to choose.

Generally speaking, deep reds, browns and purples create a rich, inviting atmosphere. Blues and greens are calming colours. Anything bright is going to make people feel uplifted. And white is the perfect blank canvas if you want to focus on furniture and fabrics instead.

Alternatively, you could go for a huge mural – it’s a great focal point, and immediately makes a room more interesting.

*collaborative post*

What about textures?

The texture of furniture can totally change the feeling of a room. Rough wood (for example) gives a more cosy, rural atmosphere, whereas polished, smooth wood feels more luxurious.

As for those soft furnishings? If you want to create a living area that makes people want to blissfully relax, faux fur or velvet cushions are ideal. Big, deep sofas will also create a more laid-back ambiance, whereas high-backed, shallow sofas are more ‘social’ and upbeat.

Introduce period elements

A few period items, like a Victorian fireplace (reclaimed ones are excellent if you’re on a budget and don’t mind cleaning it up) or fake beams can transform a room. Fake brick walls are also amazing; they make a space look homely and welcoming. Likewise, wallpaper can make a room feel completely different too.

Think about the flooring

The floor often gets overlooked when thinking about how to create mood in your home. However, it can make a big difference. Bare floorboards are rustic and inviting, and polished dark floorboards are sophisticated. A big fluffy rug immediately makes the space feel more cosy, and a thick carpet adds warmth and comfort.

Get all the senses involved

The visual elements of the room are very important. But make sure you don’t forget to appeal to the other senses too. For example, lots of tactile fabrics like velvet and satin add opulence and mystery. A fire crackling away merrily can evoke lots of powerful memories, which immediately creates a welcoming atmosphere.

You shouldn’t forget scent either. Lavender is wonderful for relaxation, whereas citrus smells are good for reinvigoration. Perfumes provide good inspiration – sites like Copycat Fragrances have some great scented candles too.

Experiment, experiment, experiment!

Sometimes, it takes a while to get the room looking and feeling right. You might need to play around with the layout and the décor. This is all part of the process – so enjoy it! Eventually you’ll hit on the perfect atmosphere and then your house will really start to feel like a home.

Laura x

*collaborative post*

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Family Photoshoot Advice: What To Do And What Not To Do

Tips for making the most of family studio photography sessions…

*collaborative post*

As parents, we are probably all guilty of only capturing important moments and occasions ad-hoc on our phones, to then never save or look back on the pictures again.

Although it is great that phones these days have such high-quality cameras that can capture such professional-looking images, it makes all of our images seem far more disposable and arguably less special.

For this reason, it is a great idea to book in for a family photoshoot. You will, no doubt, leave with some beautiful images of all the family. What’s great about studio photography is the images are kept forever, put up around the house, sent around to all the grandparents and passed down generations. It may cost you more than snapping shots on your iPhone but the results are guaranteed to be worth it.

To avoid disappointment when dragging your family along to a photography studio, here are some valuable pieces of advice about how to prepare and what to expect…

Prep

The first thing to keep in mind with a family photoshoot is that a photography studio will be an exciting but also overwhelming environment, especially for little ones. The best thing to do is explain to children what you will be doing and what the experience will be like, as best you can – to avoid any big surprises!

It’s a good idea for all the family to have an early night and be well rested the night before the photoshoot to avoid any grumpy faces and make sure everyone is ready to have some fun. Another parent tip is to eat a good meal beforehand because we all know the struggle of having hungry children on our hands!

Don’t worry though, a professional family photographer will have plenty of experience and know exactly what to say to get children relaxed and giggling in no time!

If you choose the right family photoshoot company, you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping your children under control and on their best behaviour. To capture natural, unique and funny family photos, you children need to feel comfortable to be themselves and show their true characters. Nousha are a London-based photography company who encourage silliness and fun with every family photoshoot that they carry out. All the images they create showcase the individual character of each family and child, whilst still being of an extremely high quality. What’s more, they only shoot in black and white to add to the originality of their images.

Listen

This next tip may go without saying, but it is important to really listen to your photographer. They will more than likely have years of experience and expertise about how to conduct a family photoshoot and capture some great images. Listen to their instructions on how to prepare for the photoshoot, including what to wear and bring along with you. Also, listen to their guidance whilst you are in the studio too – if they ask for a shot with a specific member of the family, give them a hand so no time is wasted.

On the other hand, though, if you know there are certain things that you or your family won’t be comfortable with doing, there is no harm in letting the photographer know!

Be yourselves

The last thing to keep in mind, which is probably the most important, is to simply enjoy yourselves and let your personalities shine through!

The point of studio photography is to capture images that will last a lifetime – so don’t waste your time (and money). You won’t capture any truly special moments if your family are holding back or are not prepared to have some fun. When you first walk in for a family photoshoot it can seem daunting, but hopefully, your family members will be smiling and enjoying themselves in no time.

Laura x

*Collaborative post*

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Exante: Why I love them even more the 2nd time around!

If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen me share a big box of goodies that were delivered from Exante. This was over 2 weeks ago now and since then I’ve been following my new plan as much as possible.

If you’re a reader of mine from way back when, you will know I have worked with Exante in the past and 2nd time round, they lived up to my high expectations. Exante plans are flexible and easy to follow and are perfect for someone wanting to lose weight, change their eating habits or even trying to tone up if you’re one for home workouts or hitting the gym.

*gifted 2 week plan*

I started my 2 week trial a couple of weeks ago and it states that it can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet therefore this is the way I chose to integrate it into my routine.

I opted to have a shake for my lunches at work and alternated between the different flavours. I can honestly say they are delicious and I really enjoyed them all (including the banana which normally would not be the one!).

I found it hard to stick to 2 shakes a day so I had a small portion of porridge in the morning as well as a couple of portions of fruit throughout the day alongside my snack bars.

After 2 weeks I’ve found my appetite for snacking has decreased rapidly and no longer do I want to indulge in huge sharing bags of crisps. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still enjoyed a takeaway one night and the odd snack but I’ve definitely felt my trousers getting a little looser over the last 2 weeks and that’s the best part for me.

Now let’s face facts here.

I stepped on the scale on Sunday 24th expecting a whopper loss and instead was met with a gain. I felt crap if I’m honest until my husband reminded me that the scales aren’t everything and my increase in exercise will have built muscle in the meantime. Quickly I realised that although the scales weren’t what I envisioned, my clothes felt less snug and I felt better in myself. Confidence is key and I definitely think having the Exante products in my life has helped me really adapt my eating habits to be that bit healthier and feel better when I look in the mirror.

Will I carry on with the Exante way of life?

I absolutely want to keep going with these fab products, the snack bars and shakes are yummy and have really kept me going at work on busy days. I also received some soups and meals which I’ve liked but not loved. I really love the shakes and when I went onto the web site, I found even more flavours I hadn’t tried. Needless to say I can’t wait to get my hands on these and give them a try.

Fancy trying the products for yourself?

If you want to try the meal replacement products like the shakes etc then I have a fab discount code for 35% off at checkout by entering LAURA35 and you can find those located HERE.

Or if you want to put the 2 or 4 week plans to the test then enter LAURA5 at checkout for an extra 5% off and you can find them located HERE.

Laura x

*Items in post are gifted in exchange for a review*

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